Conceptual framework for analysing farm-specific economic effects of helminth infections in ruminants and control strategies

Mariska van der Voort, Johannes Charlier, Ludwig Lauwers, Jozef Vercruysse, Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Jef Van Meensel

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Abstract

Helminth infections are considered to be an important constraint on livestock productivity worldwide. The economic impact of these infections or their control strategies has traditionally been assessed by their effect on animal performance indicators or traditional economic calculation methods (e.g. budgeting and cost-benefit analysis). Because the impact of helminth infections has become more subtle and is farm-specific, one needs more refined economic evaluations of actions meant to increase or maintain the health of livestock on individual farms. This paper proposes an interdisciplinary framework that combines the developments in the veterinary control of helminth infections with economic performance measurements to identify farm-specific and profitable anthelmintic management decisions. Our framework positions individual farms’ performance against performance benchmarks and is based on the farms’ efficiency in transforming input(s) into output(s). We show how this positioning makes it possible to establish a linkage between input and output transformation, helminth infection levels and effects of control strategies.
Furthermore, the framework allows for the identification of improvement paths that are not necessarily related to the helminth infection, but which may lead to other management improvements. We discuss the epidemiological information required and which complementary methods (e.g. efficiency analysis and budgeting techniques) can be used to make the framework operational.
Original languageDutch
JournalPREVENTIVE VETERINARY MEDICINE
Volume109
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
ISSN0167-5877
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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